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Gold prices rise to one-month high after U.S. jobs report

Gold prices edged up on Friday and were set for a second straight weekly gain, while traders awaited U.S. employment data to gauge the trajectory of the Federal Reserve’s potential interest rate cuts.

Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Gold prices extended gains on Friday to their highest level in a month following key U.S. jobs data the showed labor market was softening, lifting expectations around a Federal Reserve interest rate cut in September.

Spot gold was up 152% at $2,392.02 per ounce. Bullion is up nearly 2% for the week so far. U.S. gold futures gained 1.23% to $2,398.50.

“Gold is trading at one-month highs as lower payroll revisions and yet another uptick in the unemployment rate help ‘cement’ a September rate cut,” said Tai Wong, a New York-based independent metals trader.

“Bulls are eyeing a return to $2,450 all-time highs if the Fed starts openly hinting at September,” he added.

Data showed U.S. non-farm payrolls grew by 206,000 jobs in June, slightly higher than the 190,000 new jobs estimated by economists polled by Reuters.

Meanwhile, estimated job growth for May was revised down to 218,000 new jobs from 272,000, while April’s job growth was revised down to 108,000 new jobs from a previous 165,000. The unemployment rate rose to 4.1%, slightly higher than the estimated 4.0%.

Following the data, U.S. interest-rate futures prices reflected continued market confidence in a September rate cut, with the implied probability remaining at about 72%.

Traders are also pricing in a rising chance of a second rate cut in December. Lower rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding gold.

The dollar slipped to a three-week low against its rivals after the jobs data, making gold less expensive for other currency holders, while yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note crept lower.

Elsewhere, spot silver rose 3.2% to $31.37 per ounce and is on track for its best week since May 17. Platinum rose 3.08% to $1,044.6 per ounce and palladium gained 0.4% to $1,021.71.

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